CHILDREN in Africa are to benefit from brand new school uniforms after the generosity of pupils in Sunderland.
Pupils from New Silksworth Academy have donated more than 500 items of unworn uniform to school children in Gambia.
Jumpers, t-shirts, PE kits, cardigans, coats, book bags and shoes were all collected from the academy by Sunderland based charity Box Youth Project to send to schoolchildren in the poverty stricken Gunjar region of Gambia.
Acting assistant head teacher Joanne Beavers said: “Our new academy opened in September this year after the infant and junior schools began working closely together.
“This meant that we had a surplus of old stock uniforms in our school shop that had never been worn and that we really didn’t want to see go to waste.
“I’d heard about the work of the Box Youth Project in Sunderland and thought that they would be the perfect re-cycling solution for all the clothing as part of their Project Gambia Appeal.”
The seven boxes of uniforms will form part of a shipping container of donated equipment from schools across the North-East, including desks, chairs, books, stationery and sporting equipment.
The container will travel to Gambia in January where Box Youth Project workers and volunteers will distribute the contents to local schools.
Lisa Riddell, of Box Youth Project, said: “This is a fantastic gesture from New Silksworth Academy.
“Children in Gambia are so eager to learn and be in school but many of their parents can’t afford to buy suitable clothes for their children to wear.
“They will be absolutely delighted with their smart new brightly coloured uniforms and book bags.”
Student Danny Rose, ten, of Sunderland, added: “I’m really pleased that children in Gambia will be able to wear our old school’s uniform and that all of the clothes aren’t going to waste. It feels good to be able to help other children that don’t have as much as we do.”